Think you'll never have enough hours in the day to accomplish all you need to? Restructure your time with these three steps, and you'll find you have more time than you thought:
- Get a handle on all that needs to be done
- Set limits
Learn to love lists and logsKeeping track of every task — and every minute of your day — will give you a true sense of all that's on your plate.
Ditch the endless pilesAn office full of unnamed piles here and there will only add to the confusion.
Do what's most important firstIf you tackle the crucial projects first, you won't find yourself as pressed for time at the end of the day.
Take chargeA 24/7 open-door policy is the straightest road to time mismanagement. Close your door when you really need to concentrate, and tell your employees when you're available — and when you're not. Set specific times to do bulk activities, like returning phone calls or emails.
- Choose organizers that work for you. Need everything in sight? Try vertical desktop or wall-mounted filing systems instead of file drawers. Choose labels that work best for your style of working.
- Delegate. A great way to carve out more time is to hand off some projects, or at least portions of projects, to others.
- Give projects at least 10 minutes of your time. If you can spend a few minutes writing the first paragraph or two of that report or making a list of people to call, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment — and you'll know just where to start the next time you pick up the project folder.
- Go five for five. Spend five minutes at the start of every day reviewing your to-do list and psyching yourself up to divide up your day well. Take five minutes at the end of every day to make a brief to-do list for the next day.